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Psycho79 Rank 14
Rank 14

Young Maestro before 2018

My first blog ever, where to start? I'm a 21 year old guy from the Netherlands, online known as Maestro1908. It's possible that you know me from my streams on Twitch, social media or Unibet live events. I will now first give some background information about myself, cause in my opinion a story where the beginning misses makes no sense.
Who am I?
As I said earlier I'm a 21 year old Dutchie. I think it's fair to say up until this point I could have had more runbad. I'm not talking about runbad in poker here, I'm talking about life. Don't worry, this blog won't be a 'feelgood blog', but I think it's good to sometimes appreciate what you have, although you strive for more. I grew up in a nice family, perfect circumstances at home and a good bond with my family. This probably is the most important for a child. Besides that I can't complain about the country I live in. Of course there are some things that could be improved, like in every country, but all in all I'm lucky to be born in one of the countries with the highest welfare in the world.
This goes hand in hand with a good education system. Primary school was fun, had a lot of friends and enjoyed myself every day. Same goes for high school, it was a good time of my life. However, I started noticing during high school that I had to spend less time studying than most students while still getting high grades, so I had a lot of time to sport and play FIFA. However, I quit Greek and Latin, because my philosophy is that if you really dislike something, you shouldn't do it just to impress others, which was in this case getting the best high school degree possible. When I was 17 I graduated high school and started studying at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. I decided I wanted to study Economics and do Laws part time. This way I could get 2 master degrees in 6 years instead of 8. However, I failed in laws and never made a single exam. I simply couldn't motivate myself for something that seemed super boring. Would I have given it a better chance if my mindset was stronger like it is now a few years later? The answer is certainly yes. I don't regret this as life is good now, but I definitely think this was weak of me.
So I continued studying Economics & Business Economics, which I actually enjoyed. To be honest though, studying Economics on it's own was too easy for me so I had to do something on the side. Some people go on a students club where they get wasted drinking 50 beers per week and try to appear cool, this didn't seem like something for me. As I'm a sportsfan I therefore decided to make an Unibet account when I turned 18 in November 2015. I could get rich knowing more about sports than all those plebs right?! To be fair I made a bit of money and withdrew my deposit, but went broke playing blackjack, and thus had no money left in my account. I made a bit of money in sports, enough to break even on Unibet, but getting an income out of it seemed like the well known 'youth overconfidence'.
Poker before 2018
That's what brings us finally to poker! So I got my deposit on Unibet back and now I have 0 euro in my account, what to do? I saw a free 10eu poker ticket... I had played the game 2 times before with friends, but if you would ask if a flush or full house is better, I had to pass that question. Although yolo (You Only Live Once) was still a hype word back then, I'm too much of a control freak to jump into it without having any clue. I remember watching a video of Liv Boeree about handstrenghts (of course slightly distracted by her as an 18y/o guy). I now knew a full house beats a flush, I'm ready to beat this easy game right?!
I had to do it with a 10 euro ticket for the NL4 cashgames. Up until this day I still don't know how I managed to not go broke, I believe at some point my 'bankroll' was 1 buy in, but I ran it up. 4 euro became 20, 20 became 100, and then I could apply a bit of BRM. This went on the whole year 2016. Grinding NL4 and 1eu SNG's. Moving up, moving down, all the time. Feeling like the best poker player in the world, to having to move down from NL10 to NL4 while trying to improve by watching video's and reading some oldschool books. This was pretty much my poker year while passing all my uni exams quite easily, sporting a lot and hanging out with friends/family. Beginning of 2017 my roll was a bit over 1K and I decided to join twitch at DaVitsche's channel. I had lurked for a few months before, but I now 'felt ready' to join in the chat to see how that is. More about the impact of this channel on my poker career and mindset in my next blog.
I improved a lot by talking to fellow poker players and by watching streams. I took some shots on NL25 which were breakevenish. I remember I felt lost by which format I wanted to play. One month I was a 10eu SNG regular, the next month I was a 10eu MTT grinder, the month after I went back to NL25. Although I was struggling while getting better, my bankroll went up and I decided to quit my student job (personal teaching of all kinds of different courses) at the beginning of the new college year. Right after this I hit a decent NL25 downswing in the fall of 2017. Luckily by this time I was a regular in all the Unibet Twitch streams, and I'm not sure I could have come out of it without the support I got from the Unibet community, thanks if you were one of them and read this. I think this proves that the people you surround yourself with are as important as everything else. I managed to turn it around and qualify to my first live event, Unibet UK Tour Manchester in December 2017. I didn't win anything, but I think I never gained so much experience in one weekend. I went there on my own, met everyone from the Twitch channels, Unibet ambassadors etc (back then this was frightning). Besides that I played live poker for the first time in a casino. No money, but a ton of experience.
2017 was definitely the basis for 2018. I struggled a lot but managed to get my bankroll up from nothing to a bit less than 5K in 2 years time. Besides that I met a lot of inspirational people in 2017. Until 2018 people definitely thought I was wasting my time. But I realized after Manchester that I made the right choice to take this game very serious, although I hadn't earn a significant monthly income until this point in time. The fact that 2018 was the best year of my life wasn't a coincidence, and this is where my next blog will be about, the beautiful year 2018!
UAC Rank 12
Rank 12

Love the first post and intrigued to find out more about your story man. Thanks for sharing

GR1ZZL3R Rank 23
Rank 23

A great first post and welcome to the community.


It Is What It Is
psrquack Rank 25
Rank 25

It is an impressive first post, I really enjoyed it. Btw the first great poker news in 2019 is that dutchies could log in to the community forum again.Very Happy

Bing__ Rank 17
Rank 17

GL man, have fun with the blog! I find it a massive help personally so I’m sure it will aid you too! Smile

Follow my poker blog as I build a €1K roll from scratch!

Bing's Bankroll Builder

VikingsAF Rank 21
Rank 21

@psrquack dutchies still can't

I see now that the circumstances of ones birth are irrelevant... It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.
Psycho79 Rank 14
Rank 14

januari 15, 2019   


Last blog I described my journey till the year 2018. Make sure to check it out first in case you haven't yet. It's a bit more non poker related than most of my blogs will be, however it's important for the full story. To recap, I ended 2017 with a roll slightly under 5K, but more importantly, with a lot of dedication to succeed in 2018. However, at this time finishing the last few months of my Bachelor had still the highest priority. Although some people say having no backup plan pushes you even further to reach your goals, and I definitely think there is some truth in this, I want to be able to do what I want in life. Getting a degree seems like a wise choice for this.

Around Christmas time in 2017 I decided I wanted to become a tournament player. It's an endless debate, should I play tournaments or cashgames? For me the deciding factor was the thrill of tournaments that misses in cashgames. The thrill of a big bubble, a huge final table and of course the big binks in the end. Also I started to really love satellites at this point in time. I was very bad in them to be honest though, and qualifying for Manchester in 2017 was more luck than skill. Fortunately, one of my moderators (who is a fan of NMP) and my roommate, who both are always enthousiastic about my pokergame, confirmed that I was a satellite spewer and I started working on it. Now the goal was to qualify for the Unibet Open for free with a 50eu ticket I got from knocking DaVitsche out of a tournament the year before.
The tournament and satellite grind went on in the beginning of 2018. The bankroll grew steadily and I was improving a lot. It was almost a smooth ride while moving up to the highest stakes on Unibet. I say almost, cause poker is all about standing up when you fall. I definitely fell a lot, I was namely playing a lot of players who were better than me. I fell, but I never fell hard. The real painfull swings were saved for later in the year. I had some losing sessions, but also my first decent scores came in. Therefore these losing sessions were quite easy to handle, even for a beginning player like me.
This is what bring us to to the spring of 2018. The beginning of the year had been good, but the spring is where it all escelated. Without my rungood back then, I might not have been in the position I am today. Right at the start of April I shipped my first Unibet Open package for Malta. Winning a 2K package without investing any money felt absolutely great and was a huge confidence boost, unfortunately I didn't manage to win any money in Malta, but I tried my best and had a blast.
While winning the package felt special, lots of people won one, so in a way it wasn't that big of an accomplishment. For a relatively new guy to the game it felt like it was though. Later in April something more special happened (bragalert). I managed to win the big Sputnik, Deep Impact and Gargle Blaster on a single night. The first two are the biggest daily tournaments on the site, the third is a smaller field 25eu turbo. Up until today I never managed to do this again on one night, it's still a mystery to me how someone can get this lucky in one session.
After Unibet Open Malta the Unibet Online Series took place. 2 weeks full of tournaments including all stakes. I managed to win 3 'highstake' tournaments which were all around 1K cashes. The Main Event is where it really happened though. Being up 3-4K in 2 weeks was already a lot for me, but I managed to luckbox myself into a 4th place for 6K. By far my biggest score back then. Looking back at it I still regret a lot of plays I made on the final table. If you want to have a seminar how scared money is often dead money, you should ask Unibet for a replay of that final table. However, it was fun to go so deep in the biggest online game of the quarter with Unibet ambassadors Dara O'Kearney, David Lappin and with my roommate Psycho79.
My biggest lesson came the day after though. I couldn't stand the fact I played the FT so bad, and the money actually felt a bit undeserved. I sent Dara a message on Twitter, asking if he spotted some leaks of me, hoping that he was willing to share (he busted me and came 3rd). Like usually, I sent a way too long message to someone who has better things to do... The more surprised I was when there came an even longer reply. I realized I wanted to become the same, helping and supporting people when possible. I by far don't have the same knowledge as Dara, but I still think I could pull some people up, especially now that I stream. I hope today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow I will try my best to do the same as Dara did back then.
As you read the first half year of 2018 has been quite good and it's tough to keep it a non braggy post. I wanna make use of this opportunity to give a shoutout to DaVitsche, who told me I could choose between staying humble and critical at myself or becoming an arrogant HeartHeartsHeart. He called it the fork, a moment in time where some of the people he knew, that started winning in poker, took the right path and some the wrong path. I guess it's fair to say I took the right path, and DaVitsche helped me in this. Thanks for this.
All in all quite a braggy post, excuses for that. The next blog however will be less postive. I'm always striving to be as honest as possible, the first half of the year was just quite good as you have read, the second half could have been better though...
Psycho79 Rank 14
Rank 14

Last blog I described 2018 till the summer holidays. I realize this was quite a positive blog, but up until the summer everything went pretty smooth. During my holiday I travelled to Sweden and Austria with family and friends. These were some great weeks after 'months of hard work'. My poker results had been way above expected and I also heard I graduated for my Bachelor degree while I was on the road. All in all nothing to complain about and I decided to take a gap year before doing a masters.
In this gap year I would focus on starting my own twitch stream, improving my pokergame and travelling. It started off great, the first streams were quite busy and I managed to ship a decent tournament every stream. I knew this couldn't go on forever, but I appreciated that I ran golden right when I started my streaming journey. It's not all about results, but it makes the beginning at least a little bit less difficult.
However, this turned around pretty quickly and I think it's fair to say the online grind has been brutal in September, October, November and December. The hard part was that this happened right when I started the studygrind with Raise Your Edge. I always tried to stay positive and RYE definitely was a help and inspiration in this. No excuses, don't be the complainer, don't tell bad beats, and grind it out cause champions always stand up one more time. Just to name a few things you get teached, but of course also because I love quotes.
In the end it's all up to you though, and I'm not gonna lie, some days I felt like I was knocked down. Getting destroyed at night while trying to make an honest but enjoyable stream, waking up, working on your game, and do the same again at night. The stream definitely made the bad days more fun, but it still could have been better. Normally, I'm not an insecure person, but having doubts about the quality of your stream and your pokergame definitely made me at least a bit insecure to a certain degree. I think there is absolutely no shame in admitting that, and having doubts can even help you grow in my opinion.
This doesn't mean I didn't enjoy these months. I learned a lot about myself, more than when everything would have gone close to perfect like in the first months of the year. In my third stream I even took over the biggest Unibet stream of the month. When you watched back then you probably understand I did this with very mixed feelings as the reason was sad. However, I think I delivered a great 12 hour stream, after coming home late at night after having some drinks and hearing you have to stream this big day. For a third stream without sleep because of the bad news and nerves I think I did pretty well. My stream would probably be bigger if I could deliver like that every day.
Namely, at the end of 2018 I started doubting if the quality of my streams is high enough. Although most people are positive, I haven't answered this question for myself yet. Answering this won't happen overnight, as it will obviously have consequences for the schedule. I may come across very insecure right now, but I think I'm not more insecure than most people, just a bit more honest as that is one of my Dutch qualities.
Luckily, moneywise I could save the bad runs online with my cashes in Dublin and Manchester. In Dublin I came 30th at the Unibet Open for a bit over a mincash. I gained a lot of experience here and I'm happy with the fact I had the guts to call AA preflop, as I should cause I had the perfect stacksize to do so. The plan worked perfect and the guy next to me jammed, the outcome is history. However, I busted like a boss, which is a big contrast to how I played on the UOS final table I talked about in my last blog, where I played scared money to the maximum.
I managed to get second in Manchester 2 weeks later for 8K pounds and a 2K Unibet Open package for London. Of course to get heads up you need an immense amount of luck, therefore I can't complain about my biggest score so far. However, I would lie if I would say it didn't hurt to lose that heads up. A few times one card away from victory, grinding it back up just to get another suckout. However, I'm proud I played my absolute A game till the very end despite the beats. In summary, I'm happy with the cash, but I would have loved to take the throphy home in a heads up that seemed to be a win almost always, just not this time.
I think this second place at the end of the year sums it up pretty good. Maybe I could have become first more often, including in Manchester, if I had put in more work. I studied a decent amount with RYE and grinded my fair share, but if I really want to become a crusher it simply wasn't enough. It's motivating though that I won an award of Dara O'Kearney for most improved player in 2018 and I appreciate this, but on the other side it feels bad that I didn't put in the full effort to actually deserve this prize. Everything starts with yourself and blaming others or luck will always be the easiest. I think I have it in me to play highstakes and battle the crushers of this beautiful game. However, if I don't put in the necessary work in to get there I'm afraid there will be more years of second places in the feature.
Psycho79 Rank 14
Rank 14

Finally, it's time to discuss the start of 2019 and my plans for the rest of the year. By this time most people have already let go of their 'New Year plans', so it's absolutely no problem to talk about it a few weeks later. At the end it's all about creating habits to improve your life on the long term in my opinion. You don't create these habits by changing the calendar from 2018 to 2019, do something for a few weeks to eventually fall back into your old habits at the beginning of February.
I hear my stream followers thinking: 'Cool story, but you streamed quite a lot last year and since the new year you have been online a few times. Aren't you only doing less this year compared to last year?' Yes, I've streamed way less this year and this has multiple reasons. I think it's a good idea to explain why this is the case. I already talked briefly about this in my last blog, so definitely make sure to check that one out if you haven't done yet.
After coming back from my skitrip in January I spent some time thinking about my goals, like 90% of the population. I came to the conclusion that I liked streaming, otherwise I wouldn't have done it so serious since the summer, without getting any serious financial compensation. However, I noticed it started to really cost me a lot. I'm primarily talking about opportunity cost, namely I can't play 8 tables on stream for example, which I can when I play offstream. Besides that, streaming is distracting and will lower your winrate. Also, it costs energy which you could otherwise spent on other things you want to do.
All of these reasons are no rocket science. It shouldn't be a big surprise streaming costs a lot of energy and money if you're not sponsored (primarily opportunity cost/missed income). We're a month into the new year and I must say I've lived quite the grinder life. My volume and skill are increasing every week. Where I spent 300-400 euro in buy ins on a non-Sunday when I streamed, I'm now around 600 euro. Besides that I've had 3 Sundays where I lost almost 1K, which is only a sign of improvement as long as you keep playing your best game till the last hand. Also, I have been grinding Raise Your Edge harder than last year, hoping to become a crusher some day.
This doesn't mean I won't stream anymore though. However, it will be different than before. No schedule for the week that I'm announcing on Monday, but more randomly. Also, in the evenings it will be tough as I have a lot of tables till 11PM most of the time. Streaming randomly won't really grow the stream, but I will do it sometimes when I feel like it. At the moment this is the best option for me. Also, to be completely honest, if I would continue streaming consistently I doubt I will ever become a big streamer. I guess others are more made for this.
Do I regret streaming so serious for months? Not really, in the end you only regret the chances you didn't take. It probably took a bit of focus away of improving my game and putting in volume though. The upcoming months I have to catch up on this if I wanna reach my goals pokerwise. I sometimes satellite into some bigger tournaments like a 109$ or 215$, but my goal is to become a regular in games like these. When I put enough work into breaking down ranges in Equilab and make studying in Holdem Resources Calculator a daily activity I'm confident I can reach this.
Another goal of me is to improve myself socially. In my opinion it's important to develop skills in different aspects of life. I noticed I've already been quite social in 2018, except on meeting new girls. I think it's fair to say for a 21 year old my volume, to keep it in poker terms, has been super low last year. A month into the the new year I at least took some action already, and I'm planning on continuing to do so. The more awkward dates this year the better. Also, it's of course important to feel fit. Therefore I'm trying to sport when I can. I'm not gonna set extremely high goals though, as it's more about creating the habit to work out when you have the opportunity to do so. I don't really have the ambition to become a gymdude, the aim here is just to be active when possible.
As you might have noticed I primarily want to focus on creating the right habits first, before setting very specific goals without having the proper attitude or mindset. Therefore my mindset is the most important point to focus on in my opinion. I already improved a ton last months, but I still don't have the mindset I want. However, as a poker player you're forced to develop this skill and that has benefits on all aspects in life. I primarily see this when people complain all the time about things which are out of their control. I sometimes do this as well, but compared to non poker players I think I do quite decent. Still a long way to go, but I'm confident this year is gonna be great. It will all depend on taking the right decisions!
Psycho79 Rank 14
Rank 14

I remember I was streaming some Unibet games on a random Wednesday afternoon in November when some of my viewers asked if I had heard about the new Unibet Open destination. That's when I realized I was going to Sinaia. The beautiful oldschool skitown in Romania, but at this point in time I had no clue. However, every day it became more clear that this was gonna be an Unibet Open like there had never been before. It would last a week instead of 4 days, and we would start playing poker later on the day so you had the possibility to ski in the morning. Sinaia turned from an unknown place into a town everyone talked about. One thing is for sure now, it didn't let us down.
I arrived in Bucharest the 12th of February and immediately met some fellow Dutchies who took the same bus to Sinaia. The 2 hour drive felt like 2 minutes, the beauty of bringing people with similar interests together I guess. All of sudden we were standing in the snow in the middle of a town called Sinaia. After checking in to the hotel (which was a pretty good one) we went for dinner which was decent as well. Of course after that we had some drinks in the evening and met some familiar faces. Going to bed early on an Unibet Open isn't very GTO (Game Theory Optimal) so one beer soon became multiples, the drinks are pretty cheap in Romania so better make use of it.
I could have predicted it, the first morning skiing wasn't gonna happen. In the afternoon it was time for the Main Event Day 1A. I felt quite okay, had a good feeling for the table and managed to end up with a top 10 stack. I probably made some mistakes, but that's part of the game and will always happen. In general, I think I played my B+ game all day, which is kind of what you aim for on a Day 1A after a late night.
Getting through to Day 2 meant I was free on Thursday. I just chilled with a lot of people and the plan was to go to the welcome drinks early. However, it turned out I had a valentine date all night with my buddy and Unibet Ambassador David (DaVitsche). Spending the night on February the 14th with David was something that had been on my bucket list for a few years already. We commentated the last 3 or 4 levels of Day 1B which was pretty fun. It was harder than I thought but a great experience. Also I was happy with the reactions I got, as everyone was very enthusiastic. Completely tired David and I still decided to go the welcome drinks, you have to make some dance moves right. Although for some reason the welcome of Unibet wasn't the most warm and generous after just having finished hours of voluntary work, that couldn't stop me from having a great night.
On Day 2 I couldn't get a lot going at the tables. Lost some flips, had some bad runouts, opponents on the top of their range, and so on. In the end I busted 15 places before the money. A shame, but I cashed at Unibet Open Dublin so I guess you can't always make money. I still had a blast railing the bubble. The fact I was there railing the bubble and honestly having a lot of fun is in hindsight a sign to me I'm mentally improving. In the past I probably would have been disappointed about my own bustout and not in the mood for this. Luckily I sticked around and witnessed the craziest bubble I have ever seen. My mate and Unibet Ambassador Dara O'Kearney gave a seminar on how to be practically busted for 3 hours straight and still make the money with less than 1 big blind. Apparently he even laddered twice the day after. When he told me this I thought he was bluffing me, but it was really the case. No coincidence he published his book about satellite strategy 2 weeks later, this bubble was just shameless promotion for his book, he had it all planned out.
On Saturday I played the Deepstack Open, unfortunately my top boat wasn't in great shape against quads, but who cares. Because of that I was in time to late reg the community game. I knocked out my friend and moderator of my Twitch stream, online known as NMPfan. Maniac as he is he gave the nit action, something you shouldn't do as I usually have a flush at minimum to keep my nitty reputation intact. I suggested we would play on together with my chips and both look at 1 card while not telling what card it is to each other, then grab a chip individually and put it over the line at the same time. It caused confusion at the table and even the dealer didn't know what was going on. However, no one knew the combination of a maniac and nit would turn out perfect. When NMP wanted to punt it all off I took a 100 chip to prevent going broke and when I didn't have the guts to pull the trigger NMP took a 5K chip for a daily overbet on a turn that capped villain's range. GTO plays in optima forma. The miracle happened and we actually got it in good, but our perfect strategy wasn't rewarded and we had to deal with the 2nd prize. Now it was time for the players party!
What should I say about a players party with Dutchies/Belgians? The Dutch account managers were on point all week and this was not else at the players party. Anything you wanted to drink was right there and the Dutch speaking community this Unibet Open was very close. Also I got to know fellow Dutchspeaking (Holland and Belgium were combined) Charlotte (Sjlot), which was very fun as I started my poker career by watching the duostream of her and David. The beauty of Unibet Opens is that a few years later you're having drinks together!
The party lasted till late and at that moment I realized Sunday was the last chance to go skiing. Every night I went to bed so late that I didn't wake up in time to ski as you had to be there early. I took one slope but didn't really enjoy it on my own, everyone was namely still sleeping after the party. Also, I wanted to spew off in another side event, which I did Sunday afternoon. Sunday night I railed the one and only Espen (UhlenPoker) on his Sunday grind. The rail became bigger and bigger and at the end you could've filled up half a football stadium with this crowd. Unfortunately no bink, but we had fun while the UhlenPunts lasted. After hanging out till 7AM with David and the fellow moderators of his channel it was time to take the plane back to Holland.
Sinaia was my worst trip pokerwise, but the most awesome poker trip I've ever been on. It was a week full of meeting new people and punting off my money. Shoutout to Nathalie, the head of Unibet Opens, for coming up with a completely new and great destination. I got back home on Monday while being very hyped to start crushing the online fields again, because bricking everything at a live trip is only a motivation to work harder and make sure next time it won't happen again. Now, 2 weeks later, I feel safe to say I've did exactly that!